DESPERATELY SEEKING A DUKE(Book 1)
Only a Duke will do.
The only way for vicar's daughter Phoebe Millbury to inherit a family fortune is to find herself a duke--just as her late grandfather demanded in his will. But Phoebe, who's still trying to make good after a romantic scandal, also has her two cousins to contend with. They're all competing for the same money, maybe even the same men...until Phoebe meets her match in the terribly handsome and charming Rafe Marbrook.
But will it be "I do" — or adieu?
When she receives a proposal from the Marquis of Brookhaven, Phoebe is thrilled to learn that Rafe is headed for dukedom...and accepts his offer. There's only one problem: It's from Rafe's older, less captivating brother, Calder. Now Phoebe finds herself on the verge of yet another scandal as she faces a desperate choice: Marry Calder for his money and status--or follow her own heart? Either way can only lead to trouble...
"What can Bradley come up with after The Liars Club and the Royal Four? The answer is a humorous romp of marriage mayhem that’s a love and laughter treat, tinged with heated sensuality and tenderness. This winning combination ensures Bradley’s Heiress Brides series will climb the bestseller charts."
—Romantic Times Bookreviews
Under the covers:
When I was young, I found the most fascinating part of the story of "Sleeping Beauty" to be the tangle of thorns that grew up around the castle of the sleeping princess and the fates of all the princes who died there, trying to fight their way past it. I always felt as though they deserved the princess more than the guy who just happened to ride up the day the hundred years had passed and the thorns fell away.
When a man earns a woman's trust and love through trial and self-sacrifice--and a great set of buns!--it is always more satisfying to me. In DESPERATELY SEEKING A DUKE, Rafe Marbrook has to earn what he most desires. He must put away his rakish ways and grow to be the man that Phoebe most needs, a man who will protect the tender heart she offers, not trample it or lock it away unused.
I found Phoebe to be one of the most intricate characters I've ever written. Imagine the very real conflict a woman would feel even now between choosing a respectable man--a good and handsome man--who would give her all the security she would ever need and is known to honor his commitments--not to mention that her father thinks he invented sliced bread!--or choosing a man with a very bad reputation, no visible means of support, a real problem with commitment yet makes your knees weak to watch him walk across a room!
Be honest--wouldn't you have to think about that one for a while? Phoebe literally must choose between love and life itself--for if she chooses the rake, she will most definitely lose the life she knows.
Phoebe emerged from the most romantic side of me--from the girl inside who cries when Heathcliff shouts Cathy's name into the wind, when Darcy walks away from Elizabeth after being refused, and when no one can reach the princess sleeping inside the thorns.